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Supreme Court of the United States
March 26, 1969, Argued ; June 16, 1969, Decided 1
[*579] [***558] [**1922] MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WARREN delivered the opinion of the Court.
These cases involve the [****9] extent of an employer's duty under the National Labor Relations Act to recognize a union that bases its claim to representative status solely on the possession of union authorization cards, and the steps an employer may take, particularly with regard to the scope and content of statements he may make, in legitimately resisting such card-based recognition. The specific questions facing us here are whether the duty to bargain can arise without a Board election under the Act; whether union authorization cards, if obtained from a majority of employees without misrepresentation or coercion, are reliable enough generally to provide a valid, alternate route to majority status; whether a bargaining order is an appropriate and authorized remedy where an employer rejects a card majority while at the same time committing unfair labor practices that tend to undermine the union's majority and make a fair election an unlikely possibility; and whether certain specific statements made by an employer to his employees constituted such an election-voiding unfair labor practice and thus fell outside the protection of the First Amendment and § 8 (c) of [***559] the Act, 49 Stat. 452, as amended, [****10] 29 U. S. C. § 158 (c). For reasons given below, we answer each of these questions in the affirmative.
Of the four cases before us, three -- Gissel Packing Co., Heck's Inc., and General Steel Products, Inc. -- were consolidated following separate decisions in the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and brought here by the National Labor Relations Board in No. 573. Food Store Employees Union, Local No. 347, the petitioning Union in Gissel, brought that case here in a separate petition in No. 691. All three cases present the same legal issues [*580] in similar, uncomplicated factual settings that can be briefly described together. The fourth case, No. 585 (Sinclair Company), brought here from the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and argued separately, presents many of the same questions and will thus be disposed of in this opinion; but because the validity of some of the Board's factual findings are under attack on First Amendment grounds, detailed attention must be paid to the factual setting of that case.
Nos. 573 and 691.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
395 U.S. 575 *; 89 S. Ct. 1918 **; 23 L. Ed. 2d 547 ***; 1969 U.S. LEXIS 3172 ****; 60 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P10,150; 71 L.R.R.M. 2481
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD v. GISSEL PACKING CO., INC., ET AL.
Prior History: [****1] CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT.
Disposition: No. 585, 397 F.2d 157, affirmed; Nos. 573 and 691, 398 F.2d 336, 337, and 339, reversed and remanded.
bargaining, election, cards, employees, unfair labor practice, cases, authorization card, campaign, plant, good faith, misrepresentation, refuse to bargain, fair election, reasons, drive, bad faith, coercion, election process, communications, solicitation, questions, coercive, reprisal, views, court of appeals, unionization, unreliable, Relations, antiunion, desires
Business & Corporate Compliance, Labor & Employment Law, Collective Bargaining & Labor Relations, Duty to Bargain, Labor & Employment Law, Unfair Labor Practices, Employer Violations, Organizing & Voting Interference, General Overview, Union Violations, Union Refusal to Bargain, Labor Arbitration, Judicial Review, Judicial Review, Constitutional Law, Fundamental Freedoms, Freedom of Speech, Scope, Right to Organize, Judicial & Legislative Restraints